The Straits Times
Published on Feb 18, 2013

Why patient wasn't served by family physician


AT THE NATIONAL Healthcare Group Polyclinics, our family physician (FP) clinics attend to patients who make scheduled visits for the management of their chronic illnesses ("Walk-in case? No family doc" by Ms Emily Lee; Feb 9).

In addition, our FP clinic doctors run FP clinics only on specific days of the week. Hence, patients will usually come to see their regular FP clinic doctors based on appointments made.

On the morning of Ms Lee's unscheduled visit, her regular FP clinic doctor did not have an FP clinic session. In order to give her quick access to care, she was registered and attended to by our doctors in the general clinic. The FP doctor on duty already had a full clinic to run and we had to honour all the appointments scheduled by her patients.

We want to assure Ms Lee that all our clinics are now on a digital medical records system, and doctors in the general clinic can easily access an FP patient's medical history to facilitate continuity of care.

We have since contacted Ms Lee to see how we can better meet her needs and to thank her for this opportunity to explain the matter. We wish Ms Lee and her family the best of health.

Tung Yew Cheong (Dr)

Head, Toa Payoh

National Healthcare Group Polyclinics